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Dr. Mary M. Burnett

1924 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Mary M. Burnett Obituary

Dr. Mary Burnett was a distinguished physician for 42 years, a world traveler, a loving mother and grandmother, and a cherished friend to many. She was born Mary Alice McClellan in a farmhouse near Gruver, Texas. Her early years were dominated by poverty and hard work amidst economic crisis the U.S. and the dustbowl that rolled in into the panhandle of Texas in 1931. Mary attended the University of Colorado, where she enjoyed the luxury of indoor plumbing and electricity for the first time, and graduated from the University of Iowa. During her undergraduate study, she worked for a physician and attended the Kansas City College of Osteopathy & Surgery. She married James Snedeker in 1949 in Kansas City, where their two children, Mary Beth and J. Chris, were born. She was remarried to Dr. John Burnett in 1970 in Dallas, where together they practiced medicine and worked on their ranch. Mary was a devoted nurse to her husband in the last years of his life before he died of cancer in 1994, after which she moved back to Colorado.

Licensed to practice medicine in 1950, Dr. Burnett was a General Practitioner in Denver for 16 years and later a Family Practice Specialist in Dallas until she retired in 1992 to serve as director of medical education for Tri City Hospital. During her career, she served as President of the Colorado and Texas Osteopathic Associations as well as the American College of Osteopathic Family Practice. Mary devoted herself to education in Osteopathy, including seven years as the chair of the American College of Osteopathic Family Practice Education and Research Foundation. She tirelessly promoted women in medicine and published numerous articles detailing her experience as a female physician. She was a founding board member of the Rocky Vista College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado. In 1995, the American Osteopathic Assn. recognized her contributions with their highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

Mary survived two major strokes and breast cancer between 2002 and 2014, but her generous spirit and vivacious personality never dimmed. The family is very grateful to the nursing staff at Balfour Wellshire, who provided loving care to Mary during the last four years of her life.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John Burnett, her daughter, Mary Beth McClellan, and by four of her siblings. She is survived by her son, J. Chris Snedeker (Kristen); her grandchildren, Peter J. Quinn (Jenni), Jonathan Snedeker and Kate Snedeker; her stepson, Phillip Burnett (Laura) and his three children, Jason (Alesia), Julie (Lyle) and Shelley (Steven), and his seven grandchildren; and by her sister Dorothy Mann.

A celebration of Mary's life will take place on Sunday, July 13 at 2 PM at Balfour's Lodge, 1331 E. Hecla, Louisville, CO. Mary requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either the Education and Research Foundation of ACOFB - American College of Osteopathic Family Practice, or to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation as part of her granddaughter's fundraising efforts at: www.fundraiseforbcrf.org/swimforthecure2014

Published in Denver Post on June 8, 2014
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